Summary “The Little Mermaid” by Andersen

Summary “The Little Mermaid” by Andersen

The Little Mermaid is the youngest daughter of a sea king, who is not allowed to swim on land. She lives in full prosperity in the father’s palace at the bottom of the sea, but she is bored with such a life. One day, during a storm, the Little Mermaid sees a beautiful young man drowning in a shipwreck drowning. The heart of the sea princess trembled, she could not allow his death and therefore independently managed to pull the young man on land. She liked the victim extraordinarily, the Little Mermaid falls in love, but she has to return to the bottom.

The Little Mermaid can not stop thinking about a beautiful young man. But the tragedy of the whole situation is that mermaids can not love ordinary mortals. Their fate to live three hundred years on the bottom and turn to a foam

of the sea. Love for a mermaid is fatal.

But the Little Mermaid is under the power of her emotions. She goes to the contract with the sea sorceress to give her her voice, in return receiving human legs (and, therefore, the opportunity to go ashore). However, the witch sets the condition: if within a few days the Little Mermaid fails to achieve mutual love from the prince, at sunset she will perish, turn into a foam of the sea. The enamored mermaid agrees, since without a prince her life is not sweet.

Selfless love of the Little Mermaid

However, fate jokes with the Little Mermaid a cruel joke: she really manages to meet the prince, he invites her to his palace. However, the feeling that he feels for her is rather the affectionate sympathy of the older brother (and he calls the girl “my dumb foundling with talking eyes”), but not the man’s love. He is forced to marry a princess from a neighboring state so his parents want and he waits for the Little Mermaid to rejoice for him. She is desperate because the wedding of the prince means for her death.

And the Mermaid accepts this death calmly, not succumbing to temptations: after all, her sisters, who also signed the contract with the witch, suggested that she kill the prince before the wedding, then she would again become a mermaid and lived

at the bottom of the sea for her three hundred years. But the Little Mermaid does not agree, the happiness of a loved one is more important to her. She is waiting for their wedding, which is just at dusk, and quietly and imperceptibly disappears, turning into a sea foam.

Thanks to this finale, Andersen brings his readers to the idea that the main thing in love is the ability to give one’s life for another and sincerely enjoy the happiness of a loved one, even if he does not belong to you. The Little Mermaid in this sense is the ideal of self-sacrifice.


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Summary “The Little Mermaid” by Andersen